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Unusual Number of Dolphins Are Washing Ashore of Los Angeles Coast

For years, environmental observers have witnessed various species of whales beaching themselves. This phenomenon has triggered some speculation as to why this is happening, with theories and explanations ranging from changes in climate to toxic byproducts in the oceans, to an adverse reaction to underwater sonar technology used by US and other military naval vessels.  A widely accepted explanation is that whales are reacting to changes in tides, temperatures, or shifting of food sources which might force whales to relocate, starve, before ultimately swimming into shallow waters and beaching themselves.

This week, we learned that this issue is not only confined to whales, as an increased number of dolphins have been reported as washing up on the shores of Southern California. State environmental officials are still investigating what is behind this recent wave of beached mammals…

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NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) – From Laguna to Huntington Beach, an unprecedented number of dolphins are washing ashore dead or so sick that they have to be humanely euthanized.

“It’s a shock and not happy about it whatsoever,” said Newport Beach resident Eric Fritz. “They’re our friends, are you kidding? I’ve rode waves with dolphins before.”

In the last two weeks, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center says five common dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin have washed ashore. Compare that to just one dolphin last year.

Scientists are desperate to find a cause.

“Anything from viruses to bacteria to toxins,” said Krysta Higuchi of Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

It’s not just dolphins – the number of California sea lion rescues has doubled.

Rescue teams suspect the culprit may be a harmful algae bloom reported off the coast of Newport Beach, fed by runoff from the recent rains.

“I saw how filthy the oceans were after the rain, it was was brown and red. I would not go in there,” said Newport resident Noelle Reyna.

Residents say the ocean’s condition is cause for concern.

“I know there’s a lot of runoff, and when I’m out there, I do see a lot of sub-surface garbage of papers plastic bags, things like that,” said Richard Simon of Newport.

READ MORE ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Environmental Files

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